DEBT AND MONEY CLAIMS IN THE UK
Debt and Money Claims: personal or on behalf of businesses, whether you are pursuing or defending
We are accustomed to recovering money or defending claims for monetary sums on behalf of our clients.
Unfortunately, the fact that it is not possible to recover hardly any legal costs in cases in ‘small claims’ cases means that it may not be worth instructing us unless, practically, the dispute involves a sum of at least £6,000.
Having said that, sometimes our clients want to pursue their debtor as a matter of principle, even if the net sum recovered for them is a small proportion of the total sum that was due. That is entirely understandable.
Not all debt claims end in success. There is often a lot of frustration along the way. The lawyer’s job is very difficult. But often, we are very successful.
Sterling Law have concluded a settlement in a case where we had been acting for an architect who had been dealing with a company in the building trade. Several of our client company’s invoices totaling almost £9,000 over the early part of 2018 had remained unpaid for 5-6 months, despite repeated demands for payment. The debtor had just completely ‘blanked’ our client.
We have now received the final instalment in payment from the debtor company in this case, against whom we obtained judgment. This has been paid to our client, the creditor company. Of course our client’s director has expressed his delight at the outcome.
The defendant, despite being a highly qualified professional, ignored our two ‘letters before action.’ He then ignored our issue of the court proceedings. We then obtained ‘judgement-in-default’ against his company. He then sprung into action when was threatened to face enforcement of the judgement. Various excuses were made, including blaming his accountants for not receiving the letters and court papers on time, even though they were sent to the correct registered office of the company. Ultimately, the director threatened that he would dissolve his company unless we accepted half the sum due, in full and final settlement.
We were not going to be fobbed off by this nonsense and advised our client accordingly. We had no reason to believe that the defendant company was on the verge of insolvency, and if it was so, we questioned why the director had half the sum sitting in his bank account, available to be paid immediately.
Ultimately, we obtained agreement for half the debt under the judgement to be paid immediately (which it duly was, this week), and for the second half next month.
Our client was delighted with the result; a combination of litigation and tough negotiation achieved a great result. If we had merely launched into enforcing the judgment, it would have taken much longer to obtain the money and costs (payable by our client and not all recoverable from the other side) would have been higher.
If you have a dispute upon which you need advice, please contact us. We can either represent you in court or just provide advice at an initial consultation.
Mobile: 07484 614090
Tel. 020 7822 8599